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spelling puzzles

How To Use Spelling Puzzles For Some Awesome Phonics Activities

Hey, there teacher friend! Let’s talk puzzles. Spelling puzzle games in the classroom. It’s not as chaotic as it seems. Promise! They can be so much fun for students when you learn how to incorporate them into your spelling centers. So where to begin?!

I think that jigsaw puzzles are great for students, not only as matching activities but for spatial awareness too. That’s why I like to add spelling puzzle games to my spelling centers as much as possible.

How To Make Spelling Puzzle Games

So with that being said, let’s talk about assembling spelling puzzles and using them in literacy centers. 

First things, first I highly recommend laminating them. This ensures that they will actually last from year to year. If you teach any lower grade, then you know what I’m talking about. But, have you ever had your pieces slip onto another when in the laminating pocket? The teacher struggle is REAL.

Since you never know if something is going to slide, I take a dab of glue from a glue stick and glue it right into the sheet. 

Then, once all of the pieces are laminated and cut out, I hole punch each one in the corner and add all of my puzzles to a binder ring. So easy! Next, you’re going to want to grab some velcro. Add them to the blank space on the puzzles and on the back of the word pieces. 

And voila! Now your students are ready to match their spelling words with these fun puzzles.

Making Puzzle Games From Scratch

Don’t worry you can do this! (No DIY fails here.) First I begin by making templates of puzzle pieces that interlock. This way you can ensure that they’re all going to fit together. 

The size of the puzzle is totally up to you. Whatever works best for you and your students. One side of the puzzle will be the fully completed puzzle, and on the other side, you’ll have the piece that fits. This way your students will always know where to place their pieces. 

Here’s a video for my visual learning pals:

Ways You Can Add Spelling Skills To Your Puzzles

To differentiate, you can vary the way you add your spelling skills to your puzzle pieces.

  • Spelling skill on one side, words on the pieces.
  • Beginning sounds on one side, and the ending on the pieces
  • Or, reverse the puzzles and have the ending sounds on the puzzles, with matching beginning sound pieces.
  • I also like to add pictures to my puzzles and write the words onto the puzzle pieces.

If you don’t want to tackle making your own you can check out the spelling puzzle games from my shop!

When you purchase one of the spelling games, you’ll get cut and paste puzzle activities which are great for spelling review. 

You’ll also get your sets of pre-made puzzles so you don’t have to make your own. They’re all ready to laminate and add to your spelling centers. 

Also, digital puzzles! Your students will play these on Google Slides, Seesaw, and Boom cards! Plus, there is audio for each of the words for more support for your kiddos.

You can purchase the spelling skills individually, or the whole year of spelling puzzles at one time in a bundle. There are short vowel words, long vowels with both the silent e and the vowel pair words like ee and ea. You’ll also get consonant blends, consonant digraphs, vowel diphthongs, and r controlled vowels! 

I hope this is something that you and your students will truly ENJOY! 

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Rachael Hull

Rachael Hull

Teaching literacy and facilitating literacy stations has been a passion of Rachael's and she wants to help you gain confidence in your classroom!

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